Kathleen Rice, the Nassau County district attorney and a Garden City Democrat, announced Wednesday night that she will run for the congressional seat that Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) currently holds.
Rice announced her candidacy at a Westbury diner with McCarthy at her side. McCarthy, who was first elected to Congress in 1996, recently announced that she would not seek re-election this November, citing her health as a main reason for her retirement. McCarthy disclosed a lung cancer diagnosis in June last year.
In an email blast to her supporters, Rice said she wants to “build consensus and bridge political divides” in Washington to help improve the lives of people in the 4th Congressional District. Specifically, she said, she wants to improve the quality of public schools and the availability of “decent jobs,” while reducing gun violence.
McCarthy said in a statement to the Herald that it is with “great pride” that she endorses Rice, praising her for her “courageous, independent leadership.”
“As the citizens of our congressional district continue to recover from Superstorm Sandy, and as the citizens of our country demand leadership in combating gun violence and strengthening the middle class, her brand of independent leadership will not be sidetracked by the paralysis of partisan politics,” McCarthy said.
For years, McCarthy has been one of the country’s most prominent gun-control advocates. She first won election to Congress on a gun-control platform after Colin Ferguson shot and killed her husband, Dennis, and severely wounded her son, Kevin, in the December 1993 LIRR Massacre.
Rice spokesman Eric Phillips said that Rice was “absolutely” prepared to take up McCarthy’s mantle as a leading gun-control proponent.
For a Herald Q&A with Rice, click the link here.
Rice’s political background